One of my ex-colleagues had once narrated to me a small anecdote revolving around happiness of children. He had accompanied his boss (an expatriate) and his boss’s boss (again an expatriate) for some project site visit in central India. On a heap of sand were lying unclothed / under clothed children enjoying themselves thoroughly rolling on the sand, slinging it on each other etc. The boss commented on their poverty levels and lack of basic necessities in life to which the boss’s boss commented ‘why do you say so ? unlike you they are happy. They are rich in the true sense’. I harbor a desire to lie like the children without giving a damn to the world. Even better if I could sleep soundly like a street dog on a mud heap oblivious to the garbage around or deafening traffic sound. Oh, how sublime
I was reminded of this anecdote seeing so many children playing with gay abandon with simple things like air bubbles, kites, balloons out in the open air. Do you think it is surreal or real ? Do children really enjoy this kind of freedom today ? Is safety issue coming in the way, especially in big cities that we are enslaved to gadgets to keep tracking our children ? Are they losing out on simple joys of life ?
On the other end of the spectrum, fathom what Nobel laureate Kailash Sathyarthi had to say in a TV interview recently. When he rescued children from a mining quarry in Rajasthan and offered them bananas they didn’t know that it must be peeled and eaten. They were born to parents and grandparents who were bonded for so many generations that they didn’t know what the outside world looked like, what freedom is. It was heart wrenching to hear that they could not identify any food other than potatoes and onion – that is the only thing they were fed on !! Is this surreal or real ?
Our children are our future and we are holding the present in trust for them. However, let us not be so bogged down with this responsibility that we lose the child in us. Keep it alive. You will enjoy life better !
Recently an associate of mine and I were listing down the number of registrations, permissions and licences a manufacturing unit has to obtain while setting up business in India. It was well beyond the half-century mark given the number of ministries, departments and government agencies involved both at the Centre and State. If the Company is a foreign entity entering India, compliances are even more. This does not augur well for the country when the PM is giving a “Come, make in India” call. Of course yesterday’s announcement to cut the labour act forms from 16 to 1 and relax the inspection raj is welcome.
In addition to this, isn’t it time something is done for not only ‘Swach Bharath’ in terms of garbage cleaning but also ‘Swach Vyapar’ or ‘Clean Business’? Corruption is the biggest polluter and unless transactions are clean, doing business in India will not be attractive. Many of you must have received a message from the Health Minister on the eve of ‘Global Hand washing Day’ yesterday to wash and keep our hands clean. Can ‘Swach Business’ also be made part of the ‘Swach Bharath Mission’?
We can argue that cleanliness starts from us but I am of the opinion Government also has an important role to play in this. E-transactions, e-filing, e-approvals are the order of the day but not without endless follow ups, explanations, clarifications and the attendant ‘speed money’. This is an open truth which we may not like to acknowledge in public. And this is only one part of the pollution………….Swachtha or cleanliness in all forms must be promoted.
October is significant for many reasons – 1st week for the ‘Joy of Giving Week’, 31st for ‘National Unity Day’ in commemoration of the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallababhai Patel and the entire month for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Cancer survivors gain strength to conquer the illness because of the faith in themselves and the eternal hope of seeing yet another day in their lives. I can vouch for this out of my own personal experience. In fact all of us can be victorious on many fronts if we have the faith, hope and belief in ourselves.
The same hope holds us in our professional front also as we anticipate changes in the new Companies Act, 2013 in the winter session of the parliament. Good news is we can expect exemptions on several fronts for private limited companies, government companies, charitable companies and nidhi companies through an amendment to the Act. This was confirmed by the Additional Secretary of MCA, Mr. Joseph in a seminar in Bangalore.
The key will however remain how good a balance the Government strikes between good governance and the ease of doing business. For this both industry and professionals must join hands with them in eradicating the cancerous growth of misgovernance.
“Make-in-India, Mangalyaan, Madison Square, Modi” – the M word seems to be the flavor this festive season. But the Moment of Truth will arrive when the ambitious announcements made by the PM actually become a ground reality. Two of his intentions are priority in my wish list – ease of doing business and eliminating unnecessary laws.
Perhaps Modi is able to sell his dreams abroad but can he do it in India, given the multi-party Centre-State relationship and the Central, State and Concurrent List in the Constitution ? Will he be able to get a buy-in from the State Governments ? Will his dream percolate down as action at the municipal and panchayat levels ? Why go so far ? Will the ‘ease of doing business’ intent be put into action first in the mother legislation – Companies Act, 2013 which is evolving and changing faster than the mobile phones of youth today ? ‘Do it right first time’ is the quality mantra but with this piece of law it is ‘Fix it every time’.
When we professionals ourselves are unable to understand and interpret the law correctly (most of the times, bad drafting being the reason) how can one expect promoters and companies to comply with it ? Simplicity in communication and clarity of thought which are Modi’s hallmarks of oratory must be translated into legislations, intentions and actions. Only then will laws become unambiguous and doing business be easy.
The other M is the Mind which can get into boundless orbits and achieve unimaginable things. What is required is discipline and determination. You will be surprised with what can be achieved through this infinite power source called Mind.
This Navarathri let us channelize and energise our minds for our own betterment and the community at large.
It is all about perception. Whether you see a beautiful flower against a thorny fence or a thorny fence with a flower resting on it is all one’s perception. Whether we perceive our country to be dirty, large, corrupt, over-populated, loud, poor, unhealthy, or diverse, colourful, young, inclusive, challenging, warm, open-hearted is how we look at it.
However, just see how celebrities across the world have viewed India :
Mark Twain, American author: “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”
R.W. Emerson, American Author: “In the great books of India, an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence, which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the questions that exercise us.”
Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA: “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.”
Dr Arnold Toynbee, British Historian: “It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way.”
Let us be proud of ourselves and our country as we celebrate the 68th Independence Day. We had a glorious past. We have a promising future. Let us work towards turning perceptions into reality.
Let me begin this issue seeking the blessings of the Elephant-headed God Ganesha who will be welcomed home tomorrow with joy and gaiety. He is worshipped before we commence any new task so that there are no obstacles in the way. While for some obstacles are unrecognized opportunities, for those that are awake and alert, obstacles are opportunities looming large.
One such celebrity is Dr. Malathi Holla (in the picture) who despite being wheel-chair bound has many achievements to her credit. She has many awards bestowed on her – Padmashree, Arjuna, Ekalavya, Aryabhatta, Karamveer, Sankalp Ratna, Manava Ratna………….the list is endless together with some 300 medals.
She is a paraplegic Olympian, a great sportswoman who says “Our mind is not paralysed, our hands are not paralysed, our heart is not paralysed……….only a small portion of our body is paralysed. So, what stops us from achieving what we want ?” She has turned every single obstacle in her life into an opportunity and is now running an NGO called ‘Mathru Foundation’ for handicapped boys. Instead of lamenting over her own destiny, she is creating one for others !
Salutations to this wonderful human being who is modesty personified
It is raining, it is pouring… … … … really ? At least, the drenched, dripping white petals say so. Alas, the reality is starkly different. While some parts of the country are receiving heavy rains, most parts are bone dry. Bangalore seems cursed again with abysmal rains and a number of mysterious viruses causing serious are not difficult to fathom – each one of us is a cause in throat and respiratory illnesses.
If you introspect, the reasons some way or the other. Soon we may need to contend ourselves with ‘feeling the rain’ by looking at pictures and dreaming of rainy days or singing this nursery rhyme… … … …
It’s raining; it’s pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head,
And he wouldn’t get up in the morning
Who knows some geek may even come up (or must have already come up) with a wearable device that can help you experience different seasons at the touch of a button or a screen or by just visualizing the same. Dreadful to think that something as normal and welcome as rain could also move into virtual reality !
It is raining, it is pouring… … … ..nay it is flooding… … … .notifications and clarifications by MCA. After brining in a half-baked legislation, at least the Government is now listening and trying to pick up lost ground. However, the damage has been done due to lack of transitional provisions and it has got as messy and slushy as it could.
After IPL, it is football ‘night fever’ that is adding to the rising temperatures. Another reason could be that we as citizens of the Earth are not conserving water enough. While water is the beginning and end of life, we are taking it for granted, assuming it is a perennial source that will not just dry up. Over 75% of Earth is covered with water but how much of it is potable and supports life ? Just take time to watch a video or ppt called ‘SAVE WATER – YEAR 2070’ by our Hon’ble Former President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam wherein the protagonist is a 50 year old (looking like a 85 year old) and gives a first person account of life in the year 2070. He laments about life (or the lack of it) due to shortage / absence of water. You will shudder to imagine how life can be without water. You will realize how we are all contributing to such a gory future for our forthcoming generations.
It is never too late. Do take stock and contribute in your own small way so that the future generations get to experience what greenery and water is. Let it be beyond social network messages, uploading selfies and wearing T shirts with messages.
Remember, June commemorates World Environment Day (5th June), World Oceans Day (8th June) & World Desertification Day (17th June).
Elections and Cricket have gripped the nation over the last couple of months. If BJP and NaMo have emerged victors routing everyone else that came in their way, we need to wait and watch which IPL team will be crowned King on 1st June as the ‘sportainment’ comes to an end. Enough and more has been said and written about Modi and his leadership qualities. I am not competent to add anything new other than what is floating around. But yes, I can share something about ‘ENDURANCE’ which is a sine qua non for anyone who wishes to excel, be it in sports, be it in politics, be it in academics, be it in profession or be it in life.
Rajasthan Royals has given its best shot this IPL season with a bunch of fresh, new talent. One of their stars is Karun Nair, a 22 year old lad from Namma Bengaluru. His commendable performance on the ground is due to his sheer hard work, dedication and cool attitude. But what sets him apart is his legendary quality of ENDURANCE. When he was about 11 years old, Unni (as Karun is fondly known) went late one day to his cricket practice. His coach, a strict disciplinarian asked him to run until instructions to stop. So the boy kept running, mindless of the time. When his father went to pick him, he was surprised to find that Unni was nowhere at the practice nets. Concerned he asked the coach. Only then, did the coach realize that he had instructed the boy to run but had forgotten to ask him to stop. Any guess how long that was ? More than 2 hours !! The little boy stopped only after the coach called out to him. There was no complaint, no regret, no anger. Unni is endowed with a tremendous capacity of endurance. No wonder he is one of the emerging stars in the crowded cricket scene today. I am privy to this incident because my boys practice with Karun Nair and are childhood buddies.
We as professionals need tons of endurance and fortitude to face the challenges thrown at us by the still evolving new Companies Act. Add to that the likelihood of having to cope with GST, DTC and a whole lot of changes that is expected from the new Government in India.
After scoring a century, a batsmen heaves a sigh of relief as well as raises his bat in jubilation and acknowledgement to the crowd. He knows that the crowd maange more ! He takes the crease with renewed energy and begins all over again aiming for another ton. We are in a similar situation as we embark on our 101st issue. I thought it is a good idea to revisit the very first issue of Lexspeak which started with “Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya” (which in Sanskrit means “may the light of knowledge remove the darkness of ignorance”). 100 issues later, the spirit remains the same as I share the whole prayer from the Upanishad
Asato ma sadgamaya
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
Mrtyorma amrtam gamaya
Lead me from untruth to truth
Lead me from darkness to light
Lead me from death to immortality
This is a true prayer that should be on all our minds and lips as we strive to be good professionals and human beings. As good corporate citizens, I am sure you are aware of the advance tax to be remitted today – or else it could turn into taxing times !
Fresh, young minds are at work to continue the Lexspeak initiative that rests on the ancient prayer.